Oh, the weather outside is…

Frightful? FRIGHTFUL? Blinkin’ treacherous is what it is! Had to nip out in the car with Joe, my son, to get some coal and wood for the stove the other day and very nearly didn’t make it back in one piece. Several skids, sideways slides (40kg of coal and wood in the boot does that, I’ve discovered) and near misses later we just about navigated the country roads safely enough to get home, only to get stuck at the end of the driveway… Joe thought it was a pretty cool ride. I don’t mind admitting, I thought it was pretty nerve wracking!

So, yesterday Joe and I ventured out again to the local shop to buy some supplies and this time we left the car at home, opting for an altogether more enjoyable mode of transport instead.

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Chairs in the rain

Q. Why do cafes in northern England put tables and chairs outside when the weather forecast is for a full day of relentless, constant rain? Is it?

A. So that hardened smokers can still enjoy their coffee with a snout, should they feel so inclined.

B. Because it saves the staff the job of having to clean them.

C. So that photographers have something interesting to photograph when all else appears dreary and grey.

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The sound of angels printing money…

I bought myself some new lights earlier this week and thought it a good idea to set them up in my kitchen and see how they performed with a still life shoot.

Since May 2010 I’ve been, on and off, recording my solo album, which is nearing completion thankfully. Having two expensive creative outlets is not good for the bank balance, however good it may be for the soul. I feel I should clarify that the reason I’ve taken so long to record my album is not for lack of enthusiasm or motivation but more due to a lack of expendable cash, but now that I’m a photographer money won’t be a problem any more…………… What? Stop laughing! Thanks…

So, with half the album 95% mixed I’m beginning to turn my attention to the artwork for the album sleeve. My good friend and mentor, Kerry Harrison, has kindly agreed to take some photographs of me for the front cover, probably stood next to a railway line with a Les Paul wrapped round my neck a la Bob Seger or stood on an unseen box leaning against some cool looking, larger than life, Afro-American dude brandishing a sax, like Springsteen on Born To Run or something like that. One thing I can say for definite is that it won’t bare any resemblance to the cover of Grace Jones’ Island Life.

But what of the back cover, I can almost hear you ask (I say almost, I mean, can’t). Well, I figured a night in the kitchen with some new lights (did I mention I’d bought some new lights?), a camera, some cool music (revisiting Mercury Rev’s Deserter’s Songs and The Flaming Lips’ The Soft Bulletin), a few bottles of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout (available from Morrisons, if you like that kind of thing) and a boat load of personal artefacts that somehow encapsulated what the musical and lyrical content of my album was all about, would do the trick. And, by jolly, I think it did!

I was going for something with a lot of detail that could be poured over, like the images that used to adorn those old vinyl sleeves, when the artwork was crucial to the overall experience and as engaging, if not more-so, as the music itself. Something where not everything is immediately apparent and the things that are apparent don’t necessarily show a clear correlation between the image and the music. Something that asks as many questions as it answers, something that…

Sorry, what was that?

What format is it going to be reproduced on?

Erm…

*cough* CD *cough*…

No.

No.

No. Not vinyl.

Yes, I know CD is smaller than vi….

Yes, I know you won’t be able to s….

Well, you’ll just have to get a magnifying glass won’t you?!

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